Potters Bar MP puts his weight behind tackling obesity

THOUSANDS of people are on incapacity benefit because they are too fat to work, according to Hertsmere MP James Clappison. The Potters Bar representative demanded to know why people were not being helped into work when he discovered the problem. Mr Clapp

THOUSANDS of people are on incapacity benefit because they are too fat to work, according to Hertsmere MP James Clappison.

The Potters Bar representative demanded to know why people were not being helped into work when he discovered the problem.

Mr Clappison asked for a written answer in parliament.

It revealed 2,130 people are paid �84.50 a week - equal to �9.4m a year - because their primary diagnosis is obesity.

Incapacity benefit is a taxpayer-funded handout meant for people who are disabled or too ill to work.

The shadow work and pensions minister told the Potters Bar Edition: "It's important to get people back into work."

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He said: "Labour has neglected the ticking obesity time-bomb and we're now seeing the detrimental effects on our economy.

"They've missed the opportunities they've had to make a real difference and now hardworking taxpayers and are paying the consequences.

"We urgently need action."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "Obesity on its own will not mean that someone can qualify for incapacity benefit.

"To qualify claimants must have a medical assessment to assess their ability to carry out a range of activities required for the workplace.